Life at the local tennis club usually conjures images of the thwack of leather on willow followed by a large G&T in the 19th hole. All very genteel. But Twickenham Lawn Tennis Club on Lebanon Park is causing consternation among its neighbours with its plan to erect floodlights to illuminate three of its five courts.
Supporters of the plan – mostly club members and the like – point to the benefits of being able to have tennis played in the evenings and winter afternoons. Objectors – mostly Twickenham LTC’s neighbours – are concerned about the impact of lighting on their homes and the surrounding area, and on the ecology of that leafy part of Twickenham. Bats come into it too. Nine species of bat have been identified in the vicinity – there are plenty of trees nearby especially in the wooded area around Orleans House Gallery and down to the river. As we all know, bats and floodlights are not a great combination. Another concern is that the height and power of the lights is in excess of what is actually required to provide light to three tennis courts. Twickenham LTC has proposed that it will have a cut off point of 9.30pm. Documentation supporting the application indicates that there should be limited spill from the lighting but having 15 seven metre high halide lights is unlikely to be ‘subtle’.
The planning application is full of reports and correspondence which we haven’t bother to read (obviously). But you might want to. And you might have seen posters up by Twickenham Riverside raising awareness of the tennis club’s planning application.
Who’s right? Let them play more tennis? Or keep the evenings quiet and dark? Only you know the answer to that tricky question.